Wow, where do I even begin to start? This past week was just so great. I'll apologize now for this email being a long one. Trust me though, it's a good one.
Not much happened from Monday to Wednesday. Just did the usual. Taught Anna 박미연 on Tuesday. We taught her about Jesus Christ's Atonement and how it's not just about Him dying for our sins, but Christ also suffered all of our pains, sicknesses, and heartbreaks in the garden of Gethsemane. We watched Stephanie Neilson's Mormon message together and Anna really seemed to be touch by Sister Neilson's strong faith in Jesus Christ. I will forever strive to have such strong faith like Sister Neilson. She's amazing! Anna still is not progressing, but we had a great visit with her. We're trying something new with her now. We printed out a talk by one of the apostles David A. Bednar called Bear Up Their Burdens With Ease in English and in Korean. We commit her to study it in English, and for our next appointment we will talk about the grammar he uses and big words she doesn't know. For the gospel message we will have a discussion about our thoughts on Elder Bednar's talk. Hopefully this works. We'll see. Sister Morrise shared a quote from one of the apostles where it said that if we want to see new results we have to do things we've never done before. And with Anna she's been taught all of the gospel discussions and still no faith. So, we are trying a different approach. I'll let you know how it goes next week.
On Wednesday our other investigator 소정연 had to cancel last minute and so we didn't get to meet with her this week. We are doing the same thing with the same talk by Elder Bednar with her like we are with Anna though. We did have English class though and really nothing special there to talk about. But now here's where the week gets so good. I witnessed two miracles on Thursday and Friday. So amazing!
So, on Thursday we had zone training. We learned how to better invite their spirit into our lives so that we can be better prepared to follow the promptings of the spirit in lessons. It was a good training. Afterwards though I brought home a stray to Ansan haha. We had companion exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders so Sister Hammerl came home with me instead of Sister Jeong. Exchanges went amazing! From the very beginning I could already see how great this exchange was going to be. Sister Hammerl is from Australia so, yes, she has an accent. I know I can talk a lot, but she can talk quite a bit herself too. When we first got to Ansan, Sister Hammerl mentioned she wanted McDonald's. So we ate McDonald's haha. I was totally okay with her choice. While there we just talked so much. I already felt like we were close friends. And really when you think about it we already are; we are both sisters in the gospel and I loved having a friendly chat with her. She's hilarious! I definitely needed that.
Anyways, after dinner I took her with me to visit a less-active member named 길은희 (pronounced like gear-un-he). I'm proud to announce that I didn't get us lost this time around. I've been to her apartment many times before so that helped. So, with this sister we never make appointments because she always says she is busy and that we can't come. So, instead we just randomly show up. Usually it's like playing roulette. Her husband sometimes is home and he is a big reason of why she is in active, so when he is home we can't visit. So, after explaining that to Sister Hammerl we went and gave this sister a visit. We called her apartment number through the security door and yay! we were able to come in! I was so relieved because I had no other plans for us to do that night haha.
This was also my first time visiting Sister 길은희 without my companion Sister Jeong, so I was still nervous for how things would go. Whenever we visited her before I maybe said the prayer and that's about it. So, this was a big test for me. I didn't know if I was going to be able to even speak to her let alone that she'd even remember who I was. But she did! And her daughter and son remembered me too. Also, when we normally visited her we never taught a lesson. I'm not sure why we never did, but my companion would just chat with her and then we would leave. So, this time I planned on changing that. I knew we needed to share at least some sort of message with her if we are visiting her.
At first, Sister Hammerl and I just chatted with each other which was weird but finally Sister 길은희 came and sat down with us after she prepared some pears for us to eat (Korean tradition is to feed your guests). Sister Hammerl introduced herself to her and her children and we just talked while we ate, but as I found the right chance I asked her if we could share a message with her. Thankfully, she was totally okay with it. Then I just asked her what she remembers about The Great Apostasy and she didn't remember anything about it so I just started teaching her about God's pattern of calling prophets and how He gave them all His priesthood power. Then I taught her about how Heavenly Father even sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to the earth. This is when I realized I was teaching all of this by myself. Wow! All in korean too! Then we talked about Jesus Christ's life and what He did. I emphasized about how He called twelve apostles and He conferred the priesthood on them so that they can help lead and guide His church that He had established on the Earth. She really seemed to understand the importance of the priesthood. Which made me happy. Priesthood is still difficult for me to teach in Korean.
Occasionally Sister Hammerl would say a thought if she had one, but pretty much I was the one leading the lesson. I continued on teaching and reminded her about God's pattern of calling prophets. Even though people would fall into apostasy throughout history, God always calls a new prophet because He loves all of us. That then lead into talking about the Great Apostasy and how after the apostles and Jesus Christ died, the priesthood was no longer on the church. Many people continued to disobey the commandments and persecute followers of Jesus Christ. Over the course of many many years, the original church Jesus Christ established had been changed. Without the priesthood power, good people weren't able to interpret the scriptures correctly and they didn't have the authority to lead and guide the church. Man had to rely on their own understanding and feelings. Some things were added, some taken out, and some very sacred ordinances were changed. Which is the cause for their being so many churches existing today. I reminded her about God's pattern and that meant that would continue His pattern and call again another prophet. And He did. Through Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father restored the true and complete gospel on the Earth again. Sister 길은희 has already been baptized so I knew she was familiar with the restoration so I instead of continuing on about Joseph Smith I asked her why she thinks prophets are important for us and she really seemed to understand the importance of the priesthood and how prophets help us know God's will for us in the this ever changing world. I testified to her that that was exactly true and then showed her a mormon message called We Need Living Prophets.
After the video, she said she wanted to gain a testimony like the people in the video and she wanted her children to have an example. But her husband and her family are all Buddhists so it's very difficult on their marriage and that's why she can't come to church. In closely, with help from Sister Hammerl we told her about General Conference and commit her to watch it online at home.
Now as good as that lesson was this is when it got even better. Right before leaving we wanted to close with a prayer. Sister Hammerl invited Sister 길은희 to offer it but immediately she declined saying she can't pray well. Hinting to us that she probably hasn't prayed in a long while. Sister Hammerl then bore a powerful testimony of prayer and how if she prays right then her children will see and hear her and she can also pray for her husband's heart to be soften so that she can come to church again. She then proceeded to tell us she doesn't have the courage but we did our best to reassure her that she can pray.
After inviting her to pray once more, Sister hammerl and I just silently kneeled, bowed our heads, closed our eyes, and waited. And waited.. and then! She prayed! And it was actually a super long prayer too. Sister Hammerl and I later laughed about how our legs fell asleep haha, but it was sooo worth it! She gave such a powerful, and beautiful prayer. She prayed for her husband's heart to soften, she prayed thanking Heavenly Father for us always visiting, and she prayed for her testimony to be strengthened. It was so great! I felt the spirit so strong with my chest that I just couldn't help but jump up and tell her how amazing she prayed. So awesome! Totally a miracle that she prayed too :)
The next morning we had another appointment. This appointment was actually with a new investigator and it was our first time meeting her. She was originally an English interest but now I'm thinking she has lots of gospel interest too. We originally planned to meet with her only for 30 minutes because we had to meet the other sisters and exchange back, but the lesson ended up being and hour and thirty minutes instead! Crazy! I don't know exactly how but after we told her about our purpose and explained the 30/30 English program she started asking questions about what we believe and wanted to know why so many churches believe similar things but aren't one church. When she said that, I remember Sister Hammerl and I just looking at each other and telling each other with our eyes "teach the restoration". And we did :) We even learned she was given a copy of the Book of Mormon a year ago so crazy! I'm really hoping she becomes a gospel interest because she really seems open to listening and really wants to find the truth. I'll keep you updated. We meet with her on Friday mornings so on Thursday nights, pray for her okay? I'd appreciate it.
We also have another new investigator the 21 year old I told you about last week. We didn't get to meet with her this week, but she told us she is praying every day and trying to stop smoking so if you can pray about her too that'd be awesome! Thanks!
I ended the week with being able to watch General Conference finally. Saturday we went to Anyang and watched it there. It was nice being able to see the members there again. Some remembered who I was. I loved all the talks! Especially loved the primary girls from korea singing. It really made me realize that Korea is where I'm suppose to be right now. I love the people so much and those little girls growing up in the gospel are the reason I am here. Also, side note the cute family walking at the beginning of the video is the bishops family here in Ansan. Awesome!! haha And that building the children sang at is in Yeong dun po I don't know if I smelled that right but I've been there :) and to that temple hehe
Seriously, you have no idea how grateful I am for this past week. We have lessons with investigators, recent converts, and less actives every single day of the week, some days even two lessons. These experiences truly helped me see that I can do this. If my Korean companion was to transfer I would be able to survive. It showed me how much Korean I have learned and how if I truly exercise my faith then miracles really will happen.
However, after receiving transfer calls we learned that we are going to be serving another transfer together here in Ansan. We have two elders in our district leaving though, so still have some change. The new elders will be a greenie and a elder being greenie broken. Fun! Haha
And Sister Gooch is now a sister training leader with.... MY TRAINER Sister Chao! Awesome! they'll have so much fun together.
I hope you all have a fantastic week. I love you all so very much and I pray for you always and I can feel the help from all of you praying for me. Miss you!!